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Prospect Roundup: Games of May 2

Royals' Dozier taking right route at crossroads; Moya keeps impressing
May 3, 2016

Tigers OF Steven Moya, Triple-A Toledo: 3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB -- It's a little odd to be featuring the Tigers' No. 10 prospect for a game in which he did not homer, but it was an otherwise perfect day at the plate for Moya in Toledo's 6-2 win at Gwinnett. The 24-year-old's third three-hit game of the season continued a positive first month back at the Triple-A level as his slash line jumped to .283/.323/.538 with five homers, eight doubles and 15 RBIs through 22 games. As always, we need to check Moya's strikeout rate, and after three straight games in which he hasn't fanned, it stands at a reasonable 20.8 percent, down from 30.3 a year ago at the same level. By making more contact, Moya has not only raised his average (up from .240 in 2015) but also his power production, with his ISO jumping from .180 to .253. This is encouraging news for both prospect and farm system.

D-backs OF Socrates Brito, Triple-A Reno: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, 3 K -- Brito hit .303 during an 18-game cameo with the D-backs last fall and secured an Opening Day spot with a solid spring, during which he hit .306 in 23 Cactus League games, but has seen his stock tumble. The D-backs optioned their No. 4 prospect on April 18 after he went 7-for-31 (.226) in his first 10 games of the season, and he hasn't been able to find his form in the Pacific Coast League. Brito's homer Monday was his first extra-base hit since returning to Triple-A, where he's gone 8-for-47 (.170) with 13 strikeouts in 11 games. The 23-year-old's .212 BABIP is incredibly low for a player with his speed, so expect the average to rise, but the 26.5 percent strikeout rate is a problem. Brito is a potential plus defender in center or right and doesn't need an above-average bat to make an impact, but that part of his game seems to be headed the wrong way.

Royals 3B Hunter Dozier, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB, K -- The Royals' 2013 first-rounder was at a crossroads entering his third straight season at Double-A, where he had put up a rough .213/.281/.349 line with 12 homers and 151 strikeouts over 128 games in 2015. He's headed the right direction now. Kansas City's No. 15 prospect homered for the third time in four games Monday and pushed his season line to .316/.419/.684 through 22 games. He leads the Texas League in slugging percentage and ISO (.367) and ranks second in OPS (1.103) and homers (seven). With this offensive breakout in mind, the Royals are already playing around with Dozier's defensive versatility and have played him four times in left field. Dozier could finally receive that elusive promotion to Triple-A soon.

Braves LHP Max Fried, Class A Rome: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP -- Wins and losses are rarely relevant stats for pitchers, especially in the Minors, but there are special cases when a W ought to be noted. Fried's victory Monday in the first game of a twinbill a Hagerstown was his first anywhere since Aug. 12, 2013 with Class A Fort Wayne in the Padres system. It's been a long road back for the Braves' No. 10 prospect after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and being traded to Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal that December. The Braves have been cautious with the 22-year-old southpaw by sending him to the Class A level. Fried is 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 12 walks in five starts (23 innings) and has pitched past the fifth only once. Beyond the strikeouts, those aren't the numbers of a quick mover, but the 22-year-old's foremost objective now is getting back into the game and remaining healthy.

Astros RHP Albert Abreu, Class A Quad Cities: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 1 HBP -- With the Major League club struggling mightily, Astros fans can use good news. Abreu's start Monday provided some. Houston's No. 11 prospect set a personal mark with nine punchouts in what matched the longest outing of his young career. Signed for only $185,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Abreu has grown into a legitimate prospect with a 70-grade fastball and three other solid offerings. He's proved nearly untouchable with a .176 average-against and Midwest League-best 13.7 K/9 in five outings (20 1/3 innings) but has had to work through control issues. Abreu gives the Astros another exciting full-season pitching prospect behind Francis Martes, David Paulino and Joe Musgrove.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.